Crank your speakers to 11 and crack open that VB six-pack in your fridge; everyone’s favourite AC/DC sound-alikes, Airbourne have churned out album number four.
And if you were hoping for Roadsy, Streetsy and the O’Keefe brothers to make any sort of dramatic departure sound-wise — keep dreaming. Breakin’ Outta Hell is another 40 minutes of pedal-to-the-metal, power-chord-friendly pub-rock straight outta the boys’ Marshall stacks, nicely produced by Bob Marlette, who tellingly was also behind the desk for their debut Runnin’ Wild.
Lyrically, all the clichés and usual boxes are ticked. There are songs about — surprise, surprise — rock ‘n’ roll (It’s Never Too Loud For Me, It’s All For Rock N Roll), sexy time with women (Down On You, Do Me Like You Do Yourself) and getting boozed up (When I Drink I Go Crazy). Despite their cheesy content, musically most of the tracks will slot nicely into the band’s setlist when they blow punters’ socks off at their live shows.
So, is there anything new here? Well, frontman Joel O’Keefe’s vocals sound a bit dirtier. The riffage throughout the record is some of the punchiest the band has produced yet, particularly, I’m Going To Hell For This and the driving title track. Thin The Blood is nicely positioned to become O’Keefe’s new soundtrack for climbing up some scaffolding on a festival stage near you.
Breakin’ Outta Hell isn’t overly ambitious, but it’s definitely some of Airbourne’s slickest work since their barnstorming debut. And with their idols slowly deteriorating into Angus Young-and-the-rent-a-band, this latest effort certainly aids the Warrnambool warriors’ quest to take over the Aussie pub-rock torch and become entrusted keepers of the flame.
And there’s no doubt the boys will be enjoying a few froffies after the album gave them some of their best chart debuts of their career. “Breakin’ Outta Hell” stormed in at number three on the German chart and at number nine in the UK on Saturday. It’s their first top ten album in the UK and their third top five album in Germany. Local fans also hit the record stores in droves to give Airbourne their best Australian album debut to date, with Breakin’ Outta Hell in at number 13 on this week’s ARIA album chart.